For Immediate Release
Posted: May 22, 2024


Charles Blackman, P.E., Transportation Systems, Management & Operations
(603) 227-0016
Jennifer Lane, Communications Specialist
(603) 271-0799

New Part-Time Lane System Ready for Use on I-95 in Portsmouth

NHDOT will dynamically open a lane to travelers on the High-Level Bridge as needed.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority, will begin using a new dynamic part-time shoulder use (PTSU) system to help reduce congestion on I-95 in Portsmouth during peak travel periods. 

This PTSU system is in place on approximately three miles of I-95 – between Exit 5 in New Hampshire and Exit 3 in Maine and will be used during peak travel periods from May through October, and during unplanned incidents, and as traffic conditions warrant. 

Based on real-time travel conditions, technicians at the NH Transportation Systems, Management & Operations (TSMO) in Concord, NH will determine when to allow the right shoulder of the road northbound to be used as an open travel lane while Maine will manage the PTSU southbound. When the PTSU system is activated, motorists will see the system's messaging components (beacons and lane-use signals) turn on to indicate when the shoulder is open for travel. There will also be warning signs with flashing beacons at the on-ramps approaching the system to alert merging traffic when the shoulder lane is open for travel and to use extra caution when merging into the highway. Safety patrols will be increased when the PTSU system is in use. 

Traffic Management Center Operators from both states will close the shoulder to traffic when congestion eases or if there’s a motorist in the breakdown lane or if any other emergency situation warrants the closure of the shoulder. Motorists should only use the breakdown lane (shoulder lane), for emergencies and should call 911 for assistance. 

The PTSU system is the result of a partnership involving the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Turnpike Authority, and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The three agencies also collaborated on a project to rehabilitate and revitalize the Piscataqua River Bridge. That work extended the life of the bridge, added needed safety improvements, and prepared the structure for this new PTSU system. 

Motorists are encouraged to sign up for free, real-time construction and traffic related messages (text or email) from    

Green Mountain Communications of Pembroke, NH is the general contractor for this $9.4 million project.